Gallup: The Republican Convention was a bust

September 4, 2012

One tough thing about writing insta-analysis of political events is that you're often writing not about what you think, but about what you think voters will think. So, for instance, I thought the Republican National Convention was unusually poorly planned, and Mitt Romney's speech, while passable, was a missed opportunity. But who cares what I think? The question is what the electorate thinks.

According to Gallup, they weren't impressed either. The 2012 Republican National Convention did less for the Republican ticket than any convention since Gallup began keeping records:

Moreover, Romney's speech scored worse than any speech by a party nominee since 1996:

In addition to polling attitudes towards the convention directly, Gallup has also been looking to see if the dynamics of the race have changed -- if there's been, so to speak, a "convention bump." Not really.

"We have been monitoring the potential impact of the Republican convention on the presidential race on a day-by-day basis," wrote Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup. "So far, we don’t see an impact." Nate Silver, looking at a wider range of polls, argues that there's some evidence of a 1-2 percent bump, but nothing major.

This doesn't mean the convention hurt Romney and the Republicans. It just means it didn't do much to help them. Now we'll see whether the Democrats can do any better.

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